Everything old is new again

Microsoft is developing a new glass-based storage technology that can hold many gigs of data on a small glass plate. We need something like this because all of the magnetic-based storage (e.g. hard drives) and DVD/CD disks eventually degrade and fail.

What is interesting is that this general concept dates back at least to the early eighties. Exxon, of all companies, had an office products division that was manufacturing a glass disk storage system that actually burned pits into the disk to create the ones and zeros of digital data. This was different from the slightly later 12" videodisks, which were the precursor of CDs and DVDs. That technology uses a thin aluminum substrate that has the data burned into it. The problem is that the aluminum substrate can degrade over time to the point of becoming unreadable.

Paper is still superior to any other storage medium, as it is long-lived if stored properly and does not require any hardware or software to access its data. Paper's bulk is its shortcoming.

Technology News:

Knowledge Democracy: